Desert Mirage: Saudi Arabia’s New Airport is an Inspiration

Desert Mirage: Saudi Arabia's New Airport is an Inspiration

Amaala, the luxury tourist destination on Saudi Arabia’s northwest coast, has unveiled plans for an international airport with a design inspired by a desert mirage.

The terminal and control tower design was developed by UK-based architectural and design firm Foster + Partners, while the airport master plan was overseen by international consultancy and engineering group Egis.

The airport is due for completion in 2023 and is expected to cater for 1 million travelers per year.

Amaala CEO Nicholas Naples said: “From design to personalization, this will be no ordinary airport. We are delighted to work with Foster + Partners and Egis on this project.”

On approaching the airport, travelers will see stunning land art from the air. Entering the terminal, visitors will be greeted with a sleek mirrored edifice rising from the desert. The structure takes its inspiration from the surrounding environment, resulting in a mesmerizing mirage effect.

A spacious courtyard will be complemented by contemporary interiors featuring unique artwork.


Among the list of amenities provided by the airport are climate-controlled hangars that will be available for private jets as well as a ground transfer service accessible from inside the arrival hangar.

Gerard Evenden, senior executive partner of Foster + Partners, said: “Responding to the surrounding landscape, the terminal building will form an exclusive gateway to the Amaala resort. The passenger experience through the entire building will be akin to a private members club — luxurious and relaxing.”

He said the airport design seeks to establish a new model for private terminals, delivering “a seamless experience from resort to aircraft.”

Jacques Khoriaty, Middle East and South Asia aviation director of Egis, said: “The airport meets the highest environmental design and sustainability standards, is operationally versatile, and incorporates the latest airport technology and best practice standards on offer.”

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